Part VIII - Feasts of the Lord: Rehearsals for Messiah's coming

by Voice of Judah

SUKKOT (FEAST OF TABERNACLES): REHEARSAL FOR THE WEDDING FEAST OF THE LAMB


OVERVIEW OF THE FALL FEASTS SEASON

Below is the picture of the Fall Feasts season so you can reference it if needed. Beginning with Yom Teruah on Tishrei 1, all of the Fall Feasts occur in this month, the 7th month of the biblical Jewish calendar. I’ve included the Ten Days of Awe as they begin with Day 1 on Tishrei 1 (Yom Teruah) and conclude on Day 10 on Tishrei 10 (Yom Kippur).


THE FALL FEASTS SEASON OF THE COMING MESSIAH


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KEY

Biblical/Jewish days are reckoned from sunset to sunset (approximately 6pm to 6pm). So a biblical/Jewish “day” is shown in the calendar above as being spread across two standard calendar days.

Days highlighted in yellow mark Teshuvah - the 40 day period for introspection and repentance which begins on Elul 1 and ends with Yom Kippur on Tishrei 10.

(RC) = Rosh Chodesh (In Hebrew - “Head of the month”) This holiday occurs every month of the year. As the months were reckoned on the ancient Israel, biblical calendar - according to the sighting of the New Moon - the first of each month always starts on a “day and hour which no one knows...” Matthew 24:36.

t = Blowing the shofar (trumpet) after morning service during Elul. The shofar is not sounded on Shabbats (sabbath); nor is it sounded on the last day of Elul - making Yom Teruah “the hidden day.”

Lt = The “Last Trumpet” (last shofar blast) which marks the start of Yom Teruah. Paul refers to this marking event of this day in 1 Corinthians 15:52.

YT = Yom Teruah (Day of Shouting, Day of Trumpets). The only feast which occurs on Rosh Chodesh, a “day and hour which no one knows...” Matthew 24:36.
The rehearsal for the resurrection and the rapture.

DofA = Days of Awe. These begin on Yom Teruah (Tishrei 1) and conclude on Yom Kippur (Tishrei 10).
The rehearsal for the Bowls of Wrath in the book of Revelation.

YK = Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
The rehearsal for the defeat of Satan and national atonement for Israel.

S = Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) (superscripted numbers count the number of days of Sukkot).
The rehearsal for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb with His people.

SA (LGD) = Shemini Atzeret (The Last Great Day - in Hebrew: "the assembly of the eighth [day]"). The final (8th) day of Sukkot and the holiday of Simchat Torah (in Hebrew: "rejoicing in the Torah”). This day completes the annual Torah reading cycle, then the Torah reading cycle begins anew with Genesis 1.
The rehearsal for two events: 1) The time during the beginning of the Messianic Age (Millennial Reign of Messiah) when the nations will begin to seek Messiah for understanding as “the Law (Torah) will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem...” Isaiah 2:3, and 2) the time after the Millennial Reign when the Father Himself will come and dwell with His people forever (Revelation 21:1-5).


SUKKOT (FEAST OF TABERNACLES) TISHREI 15-22

Rehearsal for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb

The somber and fearful mood of the previous forty days changes to one of joy and celebration after Yom Kippur ends and Sukkot is only days away. (Whew...)

A memorial. As a memorial, Sukkot honors and remembers when Israel lived in booths or tabernacles during their forty years in the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land. (in Hebrew, a “sukkah” is a booth or tabernacle; a portable dwelling)

Sukkot is the Feast of Ingathering. Agriculturally, this feast celebrates the conclusion of the annual fruit and vine harvest during the Fall Feasts season.

The annual agricultural harvest is a rehearsal for the final spiritual harvest that will occur during the final 3 1/2 years of this age. This final harvest of souls from the earth starts immediately after the Abomination of Desolation event (when Antichrist assumes world control from the Temple and issues the mark of the beast in Revelation 13).

“I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one ‘like a son of man’ with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.  Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.” Revelation 14:14-16

This harvest happens because Christians and Jewish people are proclaiming the “gospel of the (coming) kingdom” to the earth’s inhabitants as end times events are actually happening. Jesus’ probably had this time in mind when He spoke of “the end” coming after the gospel was spread to all nations:

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

Feast of Ingathering as a Rehearsal for the Second Gathering of the Jewish People. The Zionist movement of the start of the 20th century and the birth of the modern-day nation of Israel in 1948 has seen the return of hundreds of thousands of Jewish people to their native homeland of Israel. As miraculous and significant as this return has been, it seems this is only the first fruits of the second gathering of the Jewish people.

When the Messiah comes in the future He will be bringing armies of angels and millions of believers now in immortal bodies (which seem to be able to transcend space and time as Jesus did after His resurrection). When we celebrate this first Sukkot on earth after Messiah’s coming, it’s possible that during the four days between the end of Yom Kippur and the start of Sukkot, Tishrei 11-14, the angels and believers are traversing the earth bringing the remnant of all Jewish people to Israel for the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.

“Lift up your eyes and look about you, all assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm...

‘Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests?’

Surely the islands look to me; in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, bringing your sons from afar, with their silver and gold, to the honor of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” Isaiah 60:4, 8-9

“I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people.” Micah 2:12

““I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.” Jeremiah 23:3

“In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea.” Isaiah 11:11

Sukkot is known as the Feast of the Nations. The Jewish Sages have long understood that all nations will celebrate Sukkot in the Messianic Age (the Millennial Reign of Messiah) as it was prophesied by Zechariah:

“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.” Zechariah 14:16

Following the Sheep and Goats Judgement on Yom Kippur, many nations will join the Messiah and Israel. Zechariah prophesied this:

“Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.” Zechariah 2:11

King David’s stunningly prophetic writing about Jesus’ crucifixion in Psalm 22 also contains references to Jesus’ fulfillment of Sukkot when He comes in the future and the nations pledge their allegiance to Him:

“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him...” Psalm 22:27-29

The Water Drawing Ceremony. This is a daily ritual for this 8-day feast. For this service, the priests were divided into three divisions and given specific duties:

  • One division of priests would perform sacrifices at the Temple.
  • A second division would march out into the valley of Motzah to cut willow branches.
  • A third division, headed by the high priest, would draw water from the Pool of Siloam.

The latter two divisions would march back to the Temple simultaneously, one carrying willow branches as they swayed in the wind and the other carrying vases of water.  (A flutist called “the pierced one” would lead the procession as the priests entered the Temple.) These were symbolic of wind and water (the Holy Spirit) coming to the Temple in the Messianic Age .

We see this prophesied by Zechariah:

“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.” Zechariah 13:1

During the ceremony, the people of Israel would gather in the Temple courts and sing songs. Isaiah prophesied about the song Israel will sing when Messiah fulfills the Feast.

“In that day you will say:

‘I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.’

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:1-3

The sacrifices would be laid on the altar of fire as the willows were put up around it forming a wedding covering known as a chupah. The other priests along with the high priest would pour out the water and a vase of wine at special areas on the altar. All this is a picture of the future Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

“Jesus told them, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.’” Matthew 22:2

Sukkot as the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Now, at the long awaited wedding feast, “saved” Israel (as Christians would call it; in Jewish terms they are now under the New Covenant) and repentant gentiles (the intermediates) are invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.

“And the angel said to me, Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9

“I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 8:11

It appears that the “intermediates” who did not accept Yeshua as Messiah are not invited.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” Matthew 22:11-13

Yeshua will finally be wed to His bride (Israel and believers), and they will reign from Jerusalem.

“Hallelujah!  For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure — for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.” Revelation 19:6-8

“For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch.  The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.  You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called ‘My Delight Is in Her,’ and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married.” Isaiah 62:1-4

The prophet Hosea spoke of this day concerning Israel:

“In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband,’ you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them...Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.” Hosea 2:16-20

Sukkot is the Festival of Lights. During ancient celebrations of Sukkot, four enormous candelabras were set up in the Temple courts and lit every night.  A very joyous celebration would ensue each evening as the light could be seen from all of Jerusalem. All of this is a rehearsal for the future Sukkot when Israel will indeed be God’s light to the nations.

“Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night...” Isaiah 4:5

The 8th Day of Sukkot is Shemini Atzeret (Hebrew for "the assembly of the eighth [day]"). This is the final and eighth day of Sukkot and is also known as The Last Great Day. The number 8 is biblically symbolic of “new beginnings” (8 is the day after the 7th day or sabbath, which completes a weekly cycle)

The imagery here is that Sukkot is regarded as a 7-day feast with an extra day tacked on at the end. After the seven days are over, everyone is preparing to go home (the number 7 is biblically symbolic of “perfection and completion”). However, God has enjoyed being with His people so much that He begs them to stay an additional day.

It was this same day of the feast when Jesus cried out for people to come drink of the living water He offers.

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” John 7:37-39

Shemini Atzeret is a rehearsal for when God Himself comes to dwell with mankind after the Millennial Reign.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” Revelation 21:1-3

The 8th Day of Sukkot is also Simchat Torah (Hebrew for "rejoicing in the Torah”). The feast of Sukkot completes the annual Torah reading cycle, which then begins again with Genesis 1. The priests in ancient days would bring out the Torah and read in the presence of the people. Today, the orthodox Jewish bring out the Torah scrolls and dance with them among the people, generating wondrous excitement as everyone assembles to begin a new, annual Torah reading cycle together.

This tradition is a rehearsal for when the nations begin to seek Messiah for understanding in the Millennium.

“Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Isaiah 2:3

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’” Zechariah 8:23

Conclusion

The end of the Fall Feasts following Messiah’s coming will be the beginning of the Millennial Reign of Messiah (Christ). It will also be the fulfillment of all the promises in the Prophets about the long awaited, restoration of Israel...

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